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5 health hacks for busy people

Written by Dr Claudia Pastides

, 3 min read

5 health hacks for busy people

5 health hacks for busy people

If your crammed calendar leaves you feeling as though there’s no time to nurture a healthy lifestyle, here are 5 health hacks that have significant effects despite taking just mere minutes.

Exercise daily

Physical activity reduces your risk of developing dementia, heart disease, bowel cancer, breast cancer, depression and hip fractures too.1 Fitting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise into your week might sound like a challenge, however if you split it into 30 minutes per working day, then further into three 10 minute chunks, it becomes more manageable. Incorporating a brisk 10 minute walk (or cycle) in the morning, one around midday and another in the afternoon into a busy schedule is doable most days. Top this up with some extra activity in your leisure time and you’ll be making a great investment into your future health.

Hydrate well

Studies have shown that dehydration affects your mood and ability to concentrate. From worsening short-term memory and mathematical ability, to reduced physical functioning - being dehydrated can potentially affect all types of work and activity.2 Keep a bottle or glass of water with you during the day and aim to drink around 1.2L (or 6 to 8 glasses).

Bring your own fuel

Meal prep might sound like the last thing you want to squeeze into an already busy day, but the benefit of having tupperware filled with antioxidant-rich fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks, or home-cooked left-overs, instead of turning to sugar-fuelled convenience foods, makes those minutes spent meal prepping absolutely worthwhile. Eating this way will keep you feeling fuller, more focussed and healthier too.

Keep stress in check

When life gets busy, stress often creeps in, increasing the risk of mental health disease. Keep stress at bay by taking breaks to get some fresh air or to socialise with your co-workers. If you aren’t already subscribed to a relaxation or mindfulness app, give one a go (most offer a free trial). A systematic review of 47 trials showed that mindfulness meditation programmes could help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.3

You can also assess your mood and mental health using Babylon’s Healthcheck and book an appointment with a Babylon psychotherapist via your smartphone.

Stay in tune

It might not sound like a hack, but being in tune with your body and seeking medical advice in a timely fashion when things don’t feel right will keep you healthy and save you time in the long-run too. Although unfortunately not invincible to illness, we are fortunate to have quick access to good quality and effective medical care.

Download the Babylon app and create an account today for access to GPs, nurses and therapists on your mobile phone.


  1. GOV.UK. (2019). Physical activity: applying All Our Health. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Jun. 2019].
  2. Ritz, P. and Berrut, G. (2005). The Importance of Good Hydration for Day-to-Day Health. Nutrition Reviews, 63, pp.S6-S13.
  3. Sharma, M. and Rush, S. (2014). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Healthy Individuals. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(4), pp.271-286.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.

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